25 OCTOBER 1902, Page 1

The Danish Landsthing, or Upper House, has refused to sanction

the sale of the three Danish West India Islands to the United States. The islands are financially burdensome, and the Folksthing had agreed to their sale ; but the Danish aristocracy dislike the notion of giving up their last colonies, and they have declined to do so by a majority of two. It is probable that the dispute will end in a compromise, the Government of Washington, which really wants St. Thomas as a dominant commercial point in the Caribbean Sea, buying that island, and leaving the other two to Denmark. The right of a State to sell its colonies has long been admitted and acted on, but it has its objections and inconveniences. The inhabitants would seem to have some natural right of protest, and there are colonies strategically too important for such transfers. We should not be able, for example, to bear a sale, or even a lease, of Pondicherry to Germany or Russia.